KEY POINTS OF END OF LIFE ASSISTANCE BILL
* Person must be terminally ill or “permanently physically incapacitated”
* Request must be made to and approved by doctor and psychiatrist
* Both must be asked twice after 15-days cooling off period
* Assistance must be supervised by the approving doctor
* Close friends and relatives banned from administering drug
* Only over-16s qualify
* Applicants must be registered with Scottish GP for 18 months
* Bill does not apply to those with dementia or other degenerative mental condition
“Labour MSP Michael McMahon described it as “dangerous and unnecessary”, while the two Green MSPs – Robin Harper and Patrick Harvie – said current laws were unclear and “served nobody”.
Lib Dem MSP Ross Finnie, who convened a special Holyrood committee set up to scrutinise the legislation reiterated its conclusion that it was “not persuaded that the case had been made to decriminalise the law of homicide as it applies to assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia”.
In England, the director of public prosecutions previously indicated it was unlikely that legal action would be taken against those who assist the suicide of friends or relatives who have a settled and informed wish to die.
However, no such guidance has been given in Scotland.”
“A BID to make Scotland the first part of the UK to legalise assisted suicide was rejected by a margin of five votes to one yesterday.
Independent MSP Margo MacDonald’s member’s bill split the Scottish cabinet as well as political parties in a free vote on the issue at Holyrood. But the bulk of MSPs were opposed and voted 85-16 against the measure.”
“First Minister Alex Salmond and his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, the health secretary, both voted against the plans.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I find myself particularly concerned and fundamentally concerned about the difficulty I think would always and inevitably be present in determining that someone choosing to end their life had not been subjected to undue influence.”
But she told MSPs that her cabinet colleague, the rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead, would be among those supporting the bill.
Labour’s Michael McMahon, the convener of the parliament’s cross-party groups on palliative care and disability, branded the proposals “dangerous and unnecessary”.
He said: “Society needs to know that you can’t have both physician-assisted suicide and palliative care. In reality you can only have one or the other.”
a red apple ……………………
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